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From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.
Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
As soon as I read the synopsis I knew that I had to read this book! Monique has no idea why Evelyn Hugo has chosen her to write the story of her life and make no mistake the public cannot get enough of this aging super star. Evelyn Hugo is still an icon even into her older years. I was fascinated by this book, I felt like I was on the journey with them, riding along on the story of Evelyn’s life and it was intriguing. Monique is on a journey as well, the journey into her career and personal life. I witnessed the character of Monique grow page by page, she is learning from a master on how to make the most of the life that she has. There is the underlying question throughout the book as to why did Evelyn choose Monique, how are they connected and I was sure that there is a connection somehow and what debt does Evelyn owe to Monique. I had tons of theories but none of them were correct. The question that Monique asks Evelyn in their first meeting ” Which husband was you great Love?” sets the stage for the rest of the book. As Evelyn slowly recounts her life story, the story of her great loves and why so many husbands I begin to see that Evelyn was more that just a blonde movie star bombshell. The real story of Evelyn’s one true love may be a bit shocking to some but it was a sweet love story and I am so happy that I read this book. You could say that these lovers were star crossed in a way, they had wonderful happy years and some tragic ones as well. I love Hollywood and the glimpse into this life was nice to read about. The ending answered all of my questions but not in the way that I thought they would be answered.
This book kept me interested from the beginning to the end. I loved that it was not your traditional cut and dried romance. The ending was both sad but signaled a new beginning for Monique. To say that I was surprised by the truth of what Monique meant to Evelyn is an understatement. This was one hell of a story and I would read it again!